24 February, 2004
BRUSSELS 24/02/2004 (ANA/V.Demiris)
The European Union was expected to release a statement on Monday night encouraging efforts to resolve the Cyprus problem within the framework of the United Nations, also underlining the bloc's supportive role in the process.
On the sidelines of an EU general affairs ministers' meeting, Foreign Minister Tassos Yiannitsis told reporters that the draft resolution, which had been agreed but not yet released, welcomed a resumption of talks on the basis of the UN's Annan plan.
In addition, the resolution will state the EU's preference for entry of a reunified Cyprus into the bloc on May 1; and reiterate the EU's wish to ease the terms of an overall solution on the basis of the bloc's principles.
The resolution also welcomes the EU Commission's readiness to offer any assistance sought by the UN's secretary general, Kofi Annan.
The minister added that Greece, Cyprus and the EU felt it was important for a solution to be found to the Cyprus problem that would ensure unhindered operation for the island republic within the EU.
Yiannitsis was speaking after a meeting with the European commissioner for enlargement, Gunter Verheugen.
Source: Athens News Agency